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Prime Mover Magazine

Stralis smashes LNG distance record

An IVECO Stralis NP 460hp 4x2 prime mover hauling a loaded semi-trailer has travelled from London to Madrid on liquefied natural gas (LNG), without refuelling.

This is understood to be the longest ever journey by a heavy articulated combination on a single fill of LNG.

The exercise was designed to demonstrate the benefits of natural gas-powered vehicles for UK domestic and European road transport.

Setting off from London, the Stralis NP 4x2 prime mover and tri-axle trailer were running at a gross combination mass of 30 tonnes.

After the ferry crossing from Dover to Calais, the Stralis completed the 1,728km road journey without a fuel stop – exceeding the vehicle’s official range of 1,600km – and in the process set a new distance record.

According to IVECO, this equates to an impressive cost saving of circa £200 (approx. 364 AUD) – or 40 per cent – for the journey, compared with an equivalent vehicle running on diesel fuel.

“Last year we completed John O’Groats to Land’s End on a single fill of LNG in a 400hp Stralis NP, but this time we wanted to set the bar even higher,” said IVECO'S Alternative Fuels Director, Martin Flach.

“It was a chance to demonstrate how fuel-efficient the Stralis NP is, and to put our latest 460hp LNG-powered engine to the ultimate test.”

“We brimmed the tank before we left London, and the first time we stopped for fuel was in Madrid two and a half days later. Running on 100 per cent natural gas means there’s no diesel or AdBlue to worry about, making it the simplest solution for both the fleet manager and the driver.”

Despite heavy traffic on the UK side of the English Channel, a strong head wind in France and the hilly Spanish section of the route, the Stralis NP recorded an impressive average fuel consumption of 22.6kg per 100 km.

Prior to the trip, IVECO carefully planned the journey using MyBestRoute: a web-based application developed by Michelin for Stralis NP customers.

It allows drivers and fleet managers to select the optimum route for any European journey, including plotting LNG refuelling stations and estimating the total cost of the trip for diesel and natural gas-powered trucks.

IVECO'S aim for the journey was to demonstrate that natural gas – including CNG, LNG and biomethane – is a viable, realistic, safe and cost-effective alternative to diesel, available from a growing network of fuel providers in the UK and across the continent.

Compared with an equivalent Euro 6 diesel variant, a Stralis NP running on LNG is claimed to emit around 90 per cent less NO2, 99 per cent less particulate matter, and up to 15 per cent less CO2 – rising to 95 per cent less CO2 when using biomethane.

In Europe, the Stralis NP is available as a 4x2 or 6x2 maximum weight prime mover, with power outputs of 400 or 460hp.

IVECO also offers medium and heavy rigid trucks running on natural gas, together with an extensive range of Daily Natural Power light commercial vehicles from 3.5 to 7.2 tonnes.

The company claims to be the first commercial vehicle manufacturer to start harnessing the potential of natural gas in 1991 – an anticipation that led the company to develop a full range of natural gas-powered trucks, vans and buses.

Currently, more than 25,000 Iveco gas-powered vehicles have been put into service.

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